In years that Auburn wins, State has gone on to have 3 winning seasons, 20 losing seasons, and the one 6-6 record last year. In years that MSU wins they are a perfect 9 out of 9 in having a winning season.
So, that’s a 13% chance of having a winning season if we beat Auburn (but 83% chance of having a losing season). And there’s a 100% chance of having a winning season if we beat Auburn. My conclusion: beating Auburn is the key of having a winning season.
The game used to be played in October but it’s moved its way up to the first SEC game of the year for most of the last decade. And things haven’t been good as State has only won 1 of the last 11 matchups.
Think about how some of the recent games with the Tigers have shaped the outcome of the season. In 1999, the Matt Wyatt-led comeback for the ages got Mississippi State to 6-0 on their way to as high as #8 in the country. In 2001, a missed FG at Auburn sent the Bulldogs on a spiral to a 3-8 record. 2007′s game was a turning point – winning in Auburn 19-14 led to State’s first bowl game since 2000. With high expectations in 2008, a horrific 3-2 game led to a dismal 4-8 season for MSU. Last year, the Auburn game was a bitter pill to swallow as the Dawgs were expected to win and after coming up inches short they limped to a 6-6 record.
2012′s game will be no different. Both schools have high expectations as the Tigers come to Starkville on September 8th.